Have you ever considered the talent and patience that embroidery requires? The history of embroidery is an ancient and interesting one, that dates to as early as 5th Century BC, China. That is an incredibly long time for a craft to be honed.
These days, technology has given us an edge in almost every aspect of our lives. Thanks to the advancements over the last two decades, we can now do embroidery with a machine, as well as by hand.
Here’s the thing about using an embroidery machine – there isn’t much skill required. Some may view this as cheating, but not everyone has the talent, nor the time, to practice and hone such a delicate craft.
Why am I discussing the ins and outs of embroidery with you? If you haven’t noticed the current trend, then it’s time to take a good look around. Embroidered items are everywhere: bags, dresses, jeans, leather belts, leather jackets, bomber jackets, denim, silk, tunics, and so much more – even embroidered wood!
From celebrities to high-end designers such as Marc Jacobs and Gucci, the fashion world has been loving this new trend. The fact that almost anything can be embroidered (from shirts to shoes) makes this trend even more appealing. It provides a superb way for us to use our clothing to express ourselves as individuals. Casual, chic or formal, embroidered clothing is suitable for almost every occasion.
Now, I hope you do not think that only women should wear embroidered clothing. Kings, Sultans, and Emperors have been wearing embroidered tunics, trousers, robes and even shoes, for thousands of years.
The design doesn’t have to be elegant, feminine swirls, in bright and bold colors; I’m sure there are some skulls and crossbones to be found too (biker jackets come to mind rather easily here, don’t they?).
DIY Embroidered Clothing
You may be asking yourself how much you’re willing to pay for an embroidered leather belt (or something equally small). The answer is easy–you don’t have to pay a thing.
Let’s circle back to machine embroidery. Instead of going out and buying expensive designer labels with exquisite embroidery designs, you can simply do it yourself.
And it is simple. Creating your own embroidered clothing is as easy as finding a design, choosing a clothing item, and stitching your design to your chosen fabric. If you’re new to this, then I would recommend that you check out a good embroidery machine, as opposed to doing it by hand.
With the embroidery machine, you can download designs online and then input it into the machine. You may need to consult the user manual if you’re unsure how to do this. Then, you will need a few items: fabric (or clothing item), a stabilizer to ensure that your fabric doesn’t wrinkle while your busy, needle, multiple color threads, and hoops (although, your machine will likely already be equipped with hoops).
Once you have your materials, place your stabilizer and fabric together and hoop it. The hoop needs to be tight without stretching the fabric. Attach the hoop to the machine (consult the manual if necessary), thread the machine and get to stitching. Your machine will do most of the work and tell you when to change colors. See? Simple.
Why should you make an effort?
The amazing thing about doing it yourself is that you will be able to personalize your clothing (even your undies!) in whatever way you see fit. For thousands of years, people have used clothing as a way of expressing themselves, and embroidery has had a hand in that too.
Think of the embroidered patches on military uniforms throughout history, or the way royals would use embroidery to distinguish themselves from commoners. In hierarchical societies, different ranks would have different colors or sequences embroidered on their clothing.
Now, you can use embroidery to stand out from the crowd and show them, “this is me.” Be bold, or edgy or elegant – be humorous or dark – be anything or everything. There is truly no limit when it comes to embroidery.
Remember how I mentioned that it could be used on wood, too? You can drill holes into wooden items such as small wooden disks or cuffs and create stunning jewelry to go with that newly embroidered leather belt or jacket.
Do you understand now why embroidery has made such a huge comeback in the fashion world? We’ve come a long way from pillowcases and tapestries; now, its leather jackets and wooden jewelry.
We may not be Sultans or Kings, but we can look just as exotic and elegant, and all it takes is a little needlework.